This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. We agree with the goals of individual liberty, free markets, and peace.

12/27/13

Dreaming of Sugarplums

I had a dream about how to fix Obamacare. Then I woke up and realized that it was only a dream about the pajama-boy. Oh well, not all dreams come true but we can keep on dreaming anyway.


12/7/13

Finally, Some Good News!

By Grant Davies

According to this new Pew Research poll, very few people trust government. Let's hope it drops even lower so we can have a better shot at returning our society to a more rational, free, and productive state. The more people believe in individual liberty and taking personal responsibility for their actions the better off we all will be.

I'm certain that most people who hear that only 19% of people trust the government are appalled by the news. But, as usual, my take is different. I look at it as people coming to their senses.

Image = Pew Research
You can read the good news and see a larger chart here.

12/3/13

If Health Insurance was Coffee

By Grant Davies

When our crack staff finds cool videos that our readers will want to see, we usually put them on the side bar and leave them for a few weeks so all can enjoy. Some however, are so good that we feature them right here in middle of the wisdom section.

Credit Carl Holzhowser with finding this one. He has been doing a great job lately and we are considering giving him a 50% raise over what he was previously earning on this swell gig.

So grab a cup of coffee and sit back and learn about health insurance in this new world of hopeless change.


11/13/13

Dr. Ben Carson - What is Racism?

By Grant Davies

As most of the well-read and informed readers of this blog know, Dr. Ben Carson is a recently retired brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He became well known to the general public when he made a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year. President Obama was in attendance and Dr. Carson's remarks were interpreted by some as a political move rather than an expression of his own heartfelt opinions on many matters.

I am a skeptical person so I think that many things are not what they first appear to be.  However I think that it's possible that Dr. Carson meant every word he said without even considering the personal political advantage he might get from uttering them at that event. But even if the remarks were - as some believe - politically calculated, I still think he meant them. To me he seems to be an ultra smart and truly caring person when it comes to the problems the country faces. You can see the speech here if you missed it. We featured it in an earlier post.

What happened next was a matter of some dismay to me. Within hours people started saying things like, "Ben Carson for President!" I think it's sad that we reflexively make such comments whenever we come across a new personality who agrees with our philosophy. Sometimes it's done just because someone eloquently rebuts our political rivals. There are too many other things to consider when choosing a leader.

It's possible that Dr. Carson has aspirations and it's possible that he would make a fine President. But politics is a crazy business. At this point we have no idea if he is competent in all the other areas that matter.

So let's just take a deep breath and learn something about the man before we begin some fantasy of a new political savior for our deeply troubled society. Saviors of that type do not exist in reality. It will take all of us to change our country into the type of society that fulfills the potential the founders gave us. Many of us will have to change our minds about the role that government should play in a free society if we are to make those changes.

The video below is a short interview with the doctor by a reporter who is obviously trying to corner him into saying something controversial. It features an interesting exchange about preferences and racism in general.
To my mind, Dr. Carson gives one of the best definitions of racism I have heard. It is also a reflection of my views on the subject.

So maybe we can learn something more about him on our way to evaluating whether he is a realistic future candidate or just someone we admire for his personal traits and his intellect. We must keep in mind that according to Carson's definition, if we supported him because he is black, we would be racists.

If he did get to the White House, I think he would do better than most who have gotten there. After all, this isn't brain surgery.



11/6/13

The Cheech and Chong Solution to the War on Drugs

By Grant Davies

The wise voters of Colorado just proved how simple they actually are. Last night they voted to levy a 25% tax on pot. So let's see...there was a black market in pot because it was illegal. And now there will be a black market in pot because it's legal. Go figure.

Only people who are in the middle of a Cheech and Chong haze could think this is a good idea. I don't usually propose any new laws, but maybe there should be a law against voting while high.

From Yahoo news.

Colorado voters approve 25 percent taxes on recreational marijuana

By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - A Colorado measure to impose sales and excise taxes of 25 percent on newly legalized recreational marijuana and earmark the first $40 million in revenue for public schools was approved by voters on Tuesday, Governor John Hickenlooper said. Read the rest here..




11/5/13

Christie, a Landslide or a Rock Slide?

By Grant Davies

I do my best to post most often about ideas and concepts, leaving events and people for my weaker moments.
But today an event will take place in NJ and the person it involves will in all likelihood be running for the GOP nomination for President in 2016.

The event is the NJ gubernatorial election and the person is Chris Christie, a morbidly obese Democrat pretending to be a Republican who likes to shout at people between ice cream cones. (Okay, those were snarky personal attacks lacking intellectual substance, but like I said, I have my weak moments.)

But here's the ideas and concepts part: when he wins ( it's almost certain) he will immediately be touted as the front runner for the '16 nomination. Both Dems and GOPers alike will fall in love with him, with the mainstream media leading the cheers. Oh sure, they will still make fun of him, but more like the lovable old fool they secretly admire. Perhaps like goofy Joe Biden, for instance.

But their reasons are different. The Dems love him because he is one of them, but more importantly, they know he can be demolished in the general election. So no matter if they are right or wrong, they get a big government advocate afterwards.

The GOPers will love him because they are stupid. They love how he screams at unionists so they assume he is one of them. He's not. GOPers always fall in love with people they perceive to be against Dems, even if his philosophy isn't much different. If he wins the nomination, the GOP will have the final nail in the coffin and will become the Whigs of the 21st century. They might be already.

So the concept I'm talking about is the final demise of a useless political party and the beginning of a re-alignment of political ideology in this country. The DEM party will split into two opposing factions. (Liberals and Classical liberals.) The far left wing will collapse from its own failures and incompetence in governing. As it turns out, the only thing they are competent at is getting elected by distracting the weak minded voters in the mushy middle and promising other peoples' stuff to the envious and lazy. It works most of the time.

When the Dems lose the GOP, they lose their foil. Just as Hitler needed the Jews and Obama needs evil "rich people" and greedy health insurance companies, the Dems need the GOP. Without them they are finished as well.

So there is hope, America! Most people will revert to being politically sensible and vote for people who manage money competently and otherwise leave all of us alone socially. Who knows what name they will go by? It really doesn't matter a whole lot. IMO, it won't be an existing so called "third" political party.

One last thing, I'm probably wrong about all of the above, as I usually am. But I just thought you were really anxious to know what I thought about today's election in NJ.

PS  If any of the "old line" GOP favorites win the nomination the situation will be exactly the same, minus the fat jokes.

11/1/13

The World's Easiest Economics Quiz

Dr. Walter E Williams is well known for being "The People's Economist" because he explains things in a way that ordinary people can understand. 

I'm told that the classes he teaches at George Mason University are among the most difficult the students there encounter on the way to their degrees. But for the rest of us, he makes things clear without even providing the answer to little quizzes like this one. I bet almost everyone aces it.
PS...  For admirers of Paul Krugman, the answers are found below.


1 = K  2 = B

10/31/13

An Economics Lesson For Zombies

By Grant Davies

Regular readers of this blog know how much we like the study of economics here at WWTAW. So when there is a new video out that explains what might happen economically during a zombie apocalypse, we aim to be among the first to bring it to you so you can make some investment decisions ahead of time. It might be too late if you wait for the attack to begin.

Happy Halloween.




PS... Professor Davies is no relation to me. But I'm sure he wishes he was.

10/30/13

Why Are Young People Attracted to This Grumpy Old Man?

Does anyone wonder why so many young people are enthused about the ideas of a somewhat grumpy old doctor? People on college campuses all over the country are tuning out the mainstream media and deciding for themselves. Sometimes we learn from our children and sometimes they learn from us.


10/9/13

Let's Shake On It

By Grant Davies

Many people have heard about the controversy in Kentucky concerning high school athletes shaking hands after sporting contests.

It seems that a few times in the last several years these kids do more than shake hands with each other. A few fights have broken out among teens who have too much adrenaline and too little commonsense. One of the fights took place after a volleyball game. (Really? Who fights about volleyball?)

My reaction is; duh..ya think? Who would have thought HS kids would have raging hormones and show poor judgement from time to time? After all, isn't high school the place where you continue the process of learning how to think before you act? They don't teach you stuff you already know and many kids don't know how to act yet, thus the handshake/sportsmanship exercise.

What to think about all this? Let's face it, there are bigger problems to think about right now. But there is only so much that can be said about the political theater in Washington and others are covering that ad-nauseum. So when this came up it struck me that other stuff matters too. And I'm just the guy to pontificate about stuff.

 If you haven't heard about this yet you can read the story here. Here is what seemed weird to me:

"Kentucky's athletic sanctioning body has ordered high schools not to conduct postgame handshakes in all sports following more than two dozen physical confrontations the past three years."

"Tuesday's directive from Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner Julian Tackett posted on its web site didn't mention specific fights or conflicts but said several fall sports have had postgame incidents. The organization says it's "disappointing" to take such action but that it became necessary because of occurrences statewide and nationally."

So here are some questions that occurred to me:

Am I the only one who thinks that stopping the handshaking instead of addressing the students who have engaged in the unsportsmanlike conduct is a goofy solution? Perhaps the coaching/teaching of the students should be examined as well?  Does it seem like there is some copycat behavior going on after these incidents too?

Did the students who participated receive pre-season instruction about the meaning and the importance of the handshake custom? Did the coaches display the attitude that winning was more important than being a solid person? Were students who engaged in the confrontations excused from further participation in the sport? Were they warned that that was what was going to happen when people lost control of themselves?

Were coaches warned that they would face employment problems if they had these situations repeatedly because of emphasis on the games instead of on the character building of the students? Do they know what their actual job is? If they think that winning games instead of winning hearts and minds is their job, are they the right people to be coaching? If you can't teach kids how to develop character by using sports, then what the heck is your program all about anyway?

The problem is that the kids, their parents, and the coaches/teachers do not "get it." Policies that force them to "get it" by removing them from the teams might be a better approach.

I ask these questions, but as you have already guessed I already think I know the answers. Let's ask those who administer the sports these questions and see if they still think stopping the handshakes is a better solution than actually addressing the problem.

Maybe the administrators are the problem. Maybe the parents are the problem. Maybe I should stick to writing about freedom and smaller government.

Addendum: After writing my commentary, Jim Hayes, a regular reader suggested that I read the comments after the original news story at the link. I did, and one really stood out for me. It seems that a guy who likes math did a little calculating on the numbers in the story to see what would pop up. I didn't check his math since I can barely tally up my bar tab to keep the bartender honest, but I think the comment is too good to leave off this post. Here it is as it appeared after the story:

Drchadh 2 hours ago

Lets Break this down: There are 280 member schools in the KHSAA. There are an average of at least 20 games/year (more for some sports/less for others). There are an average of 7 Varsity [not including JV] High School Sports, including both genders (i.e.- Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball [some schools have much more]). And utilizing the 3 years they included in their decision with 24 physical occurrences, gives us this formula: 280 x 20 x 7 x 3= 117, 600 games over 3 years. Now lets take that into 24 "physical occurrences": 24 "fights"/117,600 games= 0.0002 So what this tells me is 99.98% of the time it WILL NOT happen! KHSAA, here is an idea, lets teach the 0.02% of the participants to NOT fight by suspending and disciplining them, instead of DISCOURAGING sportsmanship for the other 99.98%. We already have a government in place that tells us how to live our life, we don't need the governing body of high schools telling us as well. Thank you and good night.

Good night and thank you Dr. Chad H, wherever you are.

10/4/13

Walter Williams Wisdom

It's been too long since I ran a Williams video, but even if I ran one everyday, it is impossible to overdose on common sense.


9/13/13

A Response to Vladimir Putin - America is Exceptional



President Putin, America Is Exceptional

By Rand Paul

A recent op-ed by Russian President Vladimir Putin has prompted me to respond. While his position that the Syrian conflict can and should be settled through a political and diplomatic solution is correct, virtually everything else in his writing should be taken to task. So I shall.

I begin with Mr. Putin’s disagreement regarding the exceptionalism of the United States of America. I could not more strongly disagree with him. While he is correct that God created every human being as an equal in His eyes, clearly the results of each of our efforts on this earth, individually and collectively, are not equal.

America’s exceptionalism is rooted in our founding documents and values. From the rights granted by our creator, but guaranteed by our Constitution. We should not shy away from saying so, especially when our actions are in keeping with this exceptional founding, as they were this week in our debate over going to war in Syria. Our constitutional checks and balances were on full display, largely resulting in the at least temporary halting of a rush to war.

Mr. Putin’s second mistake is to focus on the speck in the eye of the United States, while ignoring the plank in his own. He accuses the United States of alarming interventions in foreign countries. While I certainly have my bone to pick with our foreign policy over the last 15 years, the Russian President is the least qualified person I can think of to make this argument with a straight face.

We went to war in Afghanistan because they were harboring those who attacked us on 9/11. Mr. Putin’s cohorts went to war there three decades earlier for no legitimate reason.

The United States until now has resisted arming one side of the Syrian civil war – all the while the other side has been armed by Russia.

The United States has used diplomatic pressure to attempt to resolve the ongoing situation with Iran – Russia has just announced a large arms sale that will escalate tensions in the region.

Being lectured to on foreign intervention by Mr. Putin would be comical if it weren’t such a serious example of a lack of self-awareness.

Nevertheless here we are. Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is my friend, or at least my temporary ally. As Mr. Putin correctly pointed out, the United States and Russia banded together to defeat the menace of the Nazis a generation ago. And both countries certainly face real and present threats from Islamic extremists, both at home and in areas of strategic importance.

American should not act militarily in Syria because it cannot and should not join the same side as Al Qaeda. Russia cannot and should not continue to support militarily the brutal Assad regime.

And so, the dialogue that began this week must go forward, and it must be given a chance to succeed.

The issue of course, is with the participants and the details of the plan. Asking us to “trust them” is clearly not a palatable option, and we cannot act naively simply to bypass war. Any diplomatic solution must involve a clear plan to rid Syria of these weapons, with strong verification and enforcement mechanisms. As Reagan used to put it, Trust but Verify.

So while I welcome the engagement of the Russians, and the dialogue Mr. Putin this week attempted to begin with our country, I remain to be convinced of the details.

And I respond to him directly with the statement that yes, American is indeed exceptional. Our history has proved it so. While we all share the same Creator, we do not all share the same richness of history regarding human rights, freedom and democracy. There has been in the past 200 years a city on the hill that has shone brighter than all others. We will not be ashamed of that. May God allow us to continue to model this example to the world in these difficult times.

9/7/13

Whose Side are You on When Both Sides are Bad?

By Grant Davies

Imagine for a moment that there is a gang war going on between two crime families of modern day organized crime. They keep killing each other with drive-by shootings, executions, bombings and the like. In one of the attacks, innocent women and children are killed. The whole family and some of the neighbors of one of the thugs are killed in a particularly heinous manner to send a message to the other family and terrify them.

A high law enforcement official says "enough is enough" and vows to intervene. He decides to enter the conflict on the side of the crime family who has suffered the death of the family. Now imagine that the high law enforcement official is not from the US, but instead from another country with a large police force. That police force has the power to intervene and claims it's a moral imperative that they do so.

Both sides are enemies of the police force in question. And both are equally evil and violent. Hardly anyone in the country (or the world) except the members of the police board agree with the intervention. The high law enforcement official (who has argued against such intervention in the past) vows to intervene anyway.

The imaginative story above is not a perfect analogy. There are no perfect analogies. I designed it to get people thinking about our current situation with Syria.

Whatever you think of Glenn Beck, the video below will inform you of one thing; both sides are bad in this conflict. The presentation of the video is flawed in many ways and it's obviously designed to get you to agree with Beck's conclusion on the issue. There are legitimate questions which could be asked about the video itself. I bet you can think of some without my help.

The fact remains that both sides in this civil war are bad actors and that outside of the legitimate revulsion every decent person feels when confronted by the events in Syria, there is no imminent threat to America by those events.

On the other hand, contemplating the horrible specter of the unforeseeable consequences of intervention there is frightening to thinking people who do not support nor oppose the war for reasons of political affiliation.

WW III is a bugaboo that is overused sometimes, but I think it is a possibility because so many of these wars spin out of control. There are too many "what ifs?" and "what thens?" that follow these adventures. WWI was a good example.

What do you think? Feel free to tell others in the comment section below or just contemplate it in the privacy of your own conscience.

Disclaimer: the video is hideous and revolting. You have been warned. Those with a weak stomach are advised to take a pass on it.



Hat tip to contributor J Vanberger for submitting the video.

9/5/13

MSU Professor Threatens Students

I bet the folks who fork over tens of thousands of dollars every year for their kids to be educated at MSU are so happy that this professor is "teaching" them.

Of all the unbelievable things this imbecile says the most troubling is the part where he says "if he finds out" if any of the students are "closet racists" he will "come after them." He claims he can do that because he is a college professor. I'm guessing he is the sole arbiter of who is a racist and why. It's hard to know what he is threatening them with. Sounds serious though.

Allegedly this person is a professor of Creative Writing. As a "creative writer" who was not educated by this doofus, and as a frequent critic of the Republican Party, I'm amazed at what these people say when they don't think anyone will call them on it.

I shouldn't be amazed of course, but I'm sure things have changed since the time when I didn't go to college.





9/4/13

An Interesting Perspective - Illusion Economics

A few years ago (Oct. 2009) I wrote a piece titled The Best Place to be Poor. It is one of the most popular posts the blog has ever had. Unfortunately, I think most of the readers stumbled upon it while doing a web search for a geographic area to retreat to because their money wasn't going far enough. To this day it still gets a number of hits every month. (It certainly wasn't because the writing was compelling, it was/is awful and I think I may do a re-edit on it.. but I digress.)

Anyway, our guest contributor, Seth from Our Dinner Table , has written a post which is more current and expands on some of the points made by my earlier essay. Following the links he provides also leads to more interesting reading about the perspective an Indian college student studying in America has about our society. I found it to be a fascinating way to enjoy my coffee this morning.


Illusion Economics


One game plan for liberal politicians (and some conservatives) is to first convince you that you have it bad so they then can make the case that they can help.

There is a good example of this in my previous post. Graphs might lead you to believe one thing, but that’s blackboard economics. Look out the window and you will see a different story.

Thinking you have it good or bad is a matter of perspective. Poverty, itself, is a matter of perspective. Sure, if a politician compares the life of a poor person in the U.S. to a rich person, the poor person might feel slighted.

But, the observations from a student from India (via Instapundit) might help poor people in the U.S. find a better perspective:
[The U.S. is] An almost-classless society: I’ve noticed that most Americans roughly have the same standard of living. Everybody has access to ample food, everybody shops at the same supermarkets, malls, stores, etc. I’ve seen plumbers, construction workers and janitors driving their own sedans, which was quite difficult for me to digest at first since I came from a country where construction workers and plumbers lived hand to mouth.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the conveniences and standard of living the wealth of this country affords all people.

This reminds me of a news magazine show I saw long ago, when Brad Pitt was still courting Angelina Jolie. He said that on one of his visits to Africa he asked why they don’t have grocery stores and pharmacies on every street corner filled with remedies for basic ailments — ailments that kill people in poverty in other countries.

Capitalism is the answer. They don’t have much of it and we have more. Here’s why capitalism ensures we have ready access to the thousands of things that help improve our standard of living in ways that we are too spoiled to recognize.

Live in a country where the government or thieves (often one in the same) are going to take your stuff as soon as you have appeared to add value to it (like building a water well or fence to keep livestock) and you quickly learn that it isn’t worth expending the effort.

So, while the graphs Daniel Little uses and the speeches that politicians use may convince many that they are being slighted, in reality all of those people have a standard of living that is unsurpassed ever on this planet. Little’s charts don’t measure the value of having quick, easy and cheap access to basic rubbing alcohol that can easily prevent scrapes and scratches from becoming infected, life threatening injuries.

PS.. I also thought it was funny that the student from India thought we drank way too much coffee and thought it was crazy that we would spend so much on it, when we could brew it so easily and cheaply at home. But, I think this goes back to his comment on the classless standard of living. We are generally so wealthy that we choose to hire others to make coffee for us.

8/31/13

Obamacare, It's Laughable for Young People

By Grant Davies

Propaganda is just "facts" you choose to believe because you usually agree with the people who are propagandizing you. The following video is propaganda from the right. But it's funny, and it's mostly true. At least as true as humor can be.

One thing is true as far as I'm concerned; young people (along with the rest of us) are screwed under Obamacare. They just haven't figured it out yet. When it starts they will. But the frog will have already been cooked by the time they figure out that they are the frog.

So here is a humor post. Compliments of Dan Mitchell of course.

The original can be found here, it's more than just this video. A funny look at how Obamacare screws young people.

8/14/13

"Dick" Durbin's Enemies List

AUGUST 9, 2013 9:00AM

Cato Makes Dick Durbin’s Enemies List

By ILYA SHAPIRO

As reported on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page and picked up by the Chicago Tribune among many others, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has been sending out letters to anyone he has determined to have funded the American Legislative Exchange Council since 2005. He wants to know these supporters’ position on “stand your ground” laws, which ALEC (a group of state legislators pushing center-right reform ideas) advocated around the country.

After Trayvon Martin was killed in Florida—which had passed a stand-your-ground law before ALEC started pitching its model legislation—liberal activists pressured ALEC’s corporate donors to cut their ties with the group (never mind that “stand your ground” didn’t play a role in George Zimmerman’s trial for Martin’s death), which is partly why ALEC closed its task forces on non-economic issues.

Durbin smelled blood in the water and, continuing his rampage against corporate political speech—pretty rich for someone who inserted a consumer-unfriendly provision into Dodd-Frank at the behest of Walgreens and other large retailers in his home state of Illinois—is now seeking to shame anyone ever associated with ALEC.

That includes Cato. Earlier this week, we received a letter from Durbin asking two questions (you’ll have to pardon the awkward grammar; this went out to hundreds of groups, so Durbin’s staff apparently had no time for proofing):


  • Has Cato Institute served as a member of ALEC or provided any funding to ALEC in 2013?
  • Does Cato Institute support the “stand your ground” legislation that was adopted as a national model and promoted by ALEC?


And, by the way, Durbin wants recipients of his polite inquiry to know, “I plan to convene a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to examine ‘stand your ground’ laws, and I intend to include the responses to my letters in the hearing record. Therefore, please know that your response will be publicly available.”

Well, I’m proud to say that Cato isn’t going along with this charade.  Our president John Allison has responded to Durbin with a letter that I’ll quote in its entirety:


Dear Senator Durbin:

Your letter of August 6, 2013 is an obvious effort to intimidate those organizations and individuals who may have been involved in any way with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 

While Cato is not intimidated because we are a think tank—whose express mission is to speak publicly to influence the climate of ideas—from my experience as a private-sector CEO, I know that business leaders will now hesitate to exercise their constitutional rights for fear of regulatory retribution.

Your letter thus represents a blatant violation of our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is a continuation of the trend of the current administration and congressional leaders, such as yourself, to menace those who do not share your political beliefs—as evidenced by the multiple IRS abuses that have recently been exposed. 

Your actions are a subtle but powerful form of government coercion.

We would be glad to provide a Cato scholar to testify at your hearing to discuss the unconstitutional abuse of power that your letter symbolizes.

Sincerely,
John Allison

As John said, Cato is in the business of speaking truth to power—the more and better we do it, the more we advance liberty and the more our donors like us—so playing pen-pal with crusading senators is par for the course. But what about those who don’t have Cato’s mission or independence, whose livelihood depends on being in the good graces of a regulator who understands the way political winds blow? (Heck, we’re all beholden to the IRS; I apologize, honey, if we get audited next year.)

This is unacceptable. Senator Durbin, care to invite me to testify at your little hearing? I rather enjoyed discussing Citizens United at the kabuki theatre you ran last year—though you seemed more interested in accusing me of being a pawn of the Koch brothers (with whom I have no beef, but who were actually suing Cato at the time)—and would be happy to have another tete-a-tete with my fellow University of Chicago Law School alum.

In the meantime, Cato will certainly stand its ground.

The above letter is reprinted here by permission of the Cato Institute.

8/12/13

Traffic Stop for Littering Leads to Sexual Violation of Female Motorists

Call me crazy but this looks like rape to me. I guess it's not rape if the police do it. Things are definitely out of control in the "War" on people who use some drugs. In the end these two female citizens were not using any illegal substances. But they did have the experience of having their vagina and anus probed by the fingers of the "officer" in the video.

No word on whether the masculine appearing female officer enjoyed the experience or not, but the people who were violated didn't seem to enjoy it much. (I apologize for the comment, but I am so angry I am venting against these immoral thugs.)

I must warn you before you watch this video, it's disgusting, disturbing, frightening, and yes..pornographic.

The two victims of this police sexual molestation are suing. I hope they get a hundred million dollars. If any of my family was abused like this it's not at all clear to me what I might do. I shudder to contemplate.

I saw the story on Ben Swann's website and I urge you to visit there and read what he has to say about the "legal" assault. The story is called "Warrantless Vaginal Searches Conducted by Texas Police."


8/5/13

Watch This When You Have the Time

The attention span of the typical internet user in this country is shorter than the list of Obama admirers at a Cato event. (To be fair, it's his ideas they don't admire. They didn't like GWB much either)

So when I post a video on this site that's a half hour long I know most people won't watch the whole thing. Some of them will exit the site before finishing the end of this sentenc.....

For those of you who are still here, let me tell you a little bit about why you should allocate some of your precious time to watching the video below.

It's a speech Rand Paul gave at the Cato Institute to people with a somewhat longer attention span than the average internet user. It covers court decisions, political positions, philosophical leanings and a general "get to know the Senator" session.

It's important mainly because of the stark contrast between the ideas of Rand Paul and Barack Obama, as well as the style of delivery. You won't find a teleprompter in use and at the end you'll get a look at the Senators vision for the future of the GOP and the country in general.

You'll learn something about obscure court decisions and why they were so important. You will also learn how well Democrats "do" politics and how they frame the issues to uninformed voters so they can run on those instead of the ones that really matter.

There's some decent jokes, and some lame ones. The Senator is witty, genuine and interesting to listen to. I think it's a sure thing that Paul will be a Presidential candidate in 2016 and I'm hopeful that if you watch the speech you will become a supporter of his in that effort so I don't have to harp on his merits for the next three years.

People don't like it when I harp.

7/31/13

Zombies and Democrats


Video courtesy of the Heartland Institute

This gives new meaning to the term "Zombie Apocalypse." Maybe we have already had it?



7/7/13

It's Not About Edward Snowden

By Grant Davies

Okay, everyone reading this who has heard of Ben Swann, please raise your hand. Hmm, I see there are not too many of you.

Well, I suggest you find out about Ben Swann on your own because I'm too lazy to write a long bio about him. The info is available and it's worth knowing. Suffice it to say, he is a different kind of journalist. He was employed in the mainstream media until recently when he went "off the grid."

The story below is about the issues surrounding Edward Snowden. It's not about Snowden himself. It's not coverage you will find elsewhere. It's intelligent, it's thought provoking, and it's consistently like that with Ben Swann's reporting.

I must warn you, the video seems to change from day to day from one topic to another for reasons this techno-idiot blogger hasn't figured out yet. So you may have to go to his website to see it. The code I'm using seems to point to his site in general rather than the individual video itself.

But even if this video is on a different topic, I'd bet plenty that whatever it is will be well done and interesting anyway. And you can be certain it will be consistent in it's focus on freedom issues. And that's the whole point of this blog.


6/29/13

Congratulations, It's a Boy! - A Gay Man Adopts a Son

Editors note:
For a number of reasons most of the readers of this blog are familiar with Dan Mitchell. One reason is because we frequently feature his videos and essays here. Another is because he is on TV almost daily engaging in debate with some leftist economist or being interviewed about tax policy or the like. 
The most likely reason is that he is a guest contributor to this blog and most of you wouldn't dream of missing a post on this site. 
Okay, as usual, I engaged in some creative description (deception?) to make this blog seem more impressive than it actually is. The truth is Dan has given us express permission to republish his posts whenever we want. So we do that on a semi-regular basis. I try not to post too many of them because they always make my posts seem amateurish by comparison.
Dan's offerings are always interesting and educational but sometimes he hits it out of the park. The following essay is one of those home runs. Be sure to check out his blog, International Liberty. You'll be more well informed and generally happier if you do.
A Clever Example of Tax Avoidance, but a Quandary for Leftists and Social Conservatives
I generally believe that social conservatives and libertarians are natural allies. As I wrote last year, this is “because there is wide and deep agreement on the principle of individual responsibility. They may focus on different ill effects, but both camps understand that big government is a threat to a virtuous and productive citizenry.”
I even promoted a “Fusionist” principle based on a very good column by Tim Carney, and I suspect a large majority of libertarians and social conservatives would agree with the statement.
But that doesn’t mean social conservatives and libertarians are the same. There’s some fascinating research on the underlying differences between people of different ideologies, and I suspect the following story might be an example of where the two camps might diverge.
But notice I wrote “might” rather than “will.” I’ll be very curious to see how various readers react to this story about a gay couple that is taking an unusual step to minimize an unfair and punitive tax imposed by the government of Pennsylvania.
John met Gregory at a gay bar in Pittsburgh nearly 45 years ago and immediately fell in love. …Now, as lifelong partners facing the financial and emotional insecurities of old age, they have legally changed their relationship and are father and son — John, 65, has adopted Gregory, 73. The couple was worried about Pennsylvania’s inheritance tax. “If we just live together and Gregory willed me his assets and property and anything else, I would be liable for a 15 percent tax on the value of the estate,” said John. “By adoption, that decreases to 4 percent. It’s a huge difference.” …the couple had considered marrying in another state, but because their primary residence was in Pennsylvania, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, they would still be subjected to the inheritance law.
The Judge who approved the adoption obviously wasn’t too troubled by this unusual method of tax avoidance.
The judge did turn to John and said, “I am really curious, why are you adopting [Gregory]?” “I said, ‘Because it’s our only legal option to protect ourselves from Pennsylvania’s inheritance taxes,’” said John. “He got it immediately.” The judge agreed to sign the adoption papers on the spot and handed it to the clerk. Then he turned and looked at John, “Congratulations, it’s a boy.”
So what’s your take on this issue? For some groups, it’s easy to predict how they’ll react to this story.
1. If you have the statist mindset of England’s political elite or if you work at a bureaucracy such as the OECD, you’ll think this is morally wrong. Not because you object to homosexuality, but because you think tax avoidance is very bad and you believe the state should have more money.
2. If you’re a libertarian, you’re cheering for John and Gregory. Even if you don’t personally approve of homosexuality, you don’t think the state should interfere with the private actions of consenting adults and you like the idea of people keeping more of the money they earn.
3. If you’re a public finance economist, you think any form of death tax is a very perverse form of double taxation and you like just about anything that reduces this onerous penalty on saving and investment.
But there are some groups that will be conflicted.
Social Conservative Quandary1. Social conservatives don’t like big government and bad tax policy, but they also don’t approve of homosexuality. And, in this case, it’s now technically incestuous homosexuality! If I had to guess, most social conservatives will argue that the court should not have granted the adoption. We’ll see if there are some good comments on this post.
Leftist Quandary2. Leftists also will be conflicted. They like the death tax and they want the government to have more money, but they also believe in identity politics and wouldn’t want to offend one of their constituent groups.  I’m guessing identity politics would trump greed, but I suspect their ideal approach would be to tax all inheritances at 15 percent.
In my fantasy world, needless to say, there’s no death tax and the entire issue disappears.

6/9/13

Some Scandals are More Frightening Than Others

By Grant Davies

Some decades back, I remember witnessing the Nixon debacle as if it were a slow motion version of a train wreck. But I also remember being nauseated rather than terrified. After all, I was watching the train wreck, not involved in it.

You grimace and wince and make squinty eyes, but it's not you who's about to be squashed. It's some sweaty President on TV telling you he's not a crook when you know in your gut that he is.

And you feel (at least I felt) that in the end, everyone would get what was coming to them and the country would be okay, and therefore you would be okay, too. I also distinctly remember the feeling of satisfaction when he resigned before they could fire him. I felt that way because my perception was that the system had worked. I wasn't smug because I had known that everything would work out; I was relieved. Even after all these years, I'm not sure if I was right about everything working out, or merely naive.

But the thing that I remember most of all was the news breaking of some new part of the scandal on what seemed like a daily basis. You needed a freaking program to remember all the players. (Yes, I know there were no programs yet for the common man.) They all seemed to run together into one giant stinking pile of liars and their lies.

In the end it was all about the cover-up. At least that's what the press tried to tell us, and most of us chose to believe it because it was the easier choice.

Which brings us to today, and the sickening realization that deja vu is more than a concept. But this endless stream of scandals is different. Much different. This stuff is not as sickening as it is frightening. I'm not grimacing and wincing this time. I'm contemplating the future, and my eyes probably show a frightened bewilderment instead of the squint I wore back then. Age and experience may do that to you. I'm not sure.

So pick your scandal. Is it Benghazi that scares you? Or does it just sicken you that your government could leave our people to die for whatever reason and then try to cover it up with a preposterous story about anti-Islam Internet films?

Is it more frightening that your government and the IRS are more than just incompetent morons who do not understand the tax code well enough to administer it? Or that they are now the enforcement squad for whatever party is in control at the time? Anyone who has dealt with those thugs knows what terror really is.

Does the realization that the government is tracking the phone records of Fox News and AP reporters looking for "leaks" scare you? It sure scares the news organizations. Even the liberal ones.

Or does the newest blockbuster scandal concerning the spy agencies gathering "information" about who is talking to whom on the telephone, and for how long, scare you? Over one billion communications have been monitored according to recent reports. And they are the conversations of everyone, we are told, not just of the "suspicious" people in other countries who call "suspicious" people in this country. If you can monitor lots of people with a software program, why limit the scope? The people with the programs are the same people in charge of limiting its use.

Now that it has come to light that ordinary people like you and I are being watched by massive computer programs, it starts to look more than a little like East Germany just a few decades ago.  And those programs  are being made more capable every day. It's a Hitlerian wet dream.

From my perspective, all this is very frightening. But the most frightening thing of all is where it will lead. If this all just gets to be old news and passes away while we move on with our lives, it will take its natural course. The authorities will be emboldened, and history will repeat. A quick peek at what happened only about eighty years ago should convince even an intellectual ostrich that it's a sure thing that governments always do what they can get away with.

For anyone who doesn't yet understand what the spy agencies are already capable of, here is some of what the "whistle blower" Edward Snowden said in the blockbuster interview being featured on the Drudge Report and elsewhere. ( Snowden is the "source for the Guardian's NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation.")

Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?

A: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

To find out more about Edward Snowden and see the interview, click here. I warn you though, it's not for the faint of heart to contemplate what might happen to this man now that he has spilled the beans on the spooks.

Did I miss a scandal or two?  Certainly. They have been flowing like water for a long time. Unfortunately, many people are more interested in blaming past administrations, or the current one, in a game of political grab ass than concentrating on what actually is happening.

So which scandal has you more frightened than the others? Or are you one of the few left who think it's all much ado about  nothing?

My answer is: what the future has in store for us if the various agencies and executives get away with these crimes against our rights is past frightening, it's terrifying. But then again, I was terrified of Obamacare and the bailouts and they have worked out fine, so maybe I scare too easily.

6/5/13

It's Only Money

Editors note: The following post was published this morning on our other blog, Cheeky History. That blog is devoted to short historical musings and has nothing to do with any particular ideology. I call it "History with an attitude."

Having said that, today's story has plenty of crossover appeal for people who read this blog. If you enjoy the style you might want to visit there regularly to see what we are blabbering about when we aren't pushing the freedom philosophy.



By Grant Davies

On this day in 1933, the Congress of the United States passed a law, (HJR 192), that took the country off the gold standard.

Ho hum, just some legalistic, monetary, mumbo jumbo that doesn't affect the common man, you might say. In fact, it might help the common man because it's designed to stop those evil rich guys from hoarding gold. And everyone knows that's what's causing the depression.. right?

Anyway, what's the big deal? The little guy doesn't have any gold so who cares what happens to the fat cats?

The law was just the rubber stamp that FDR's puppets applied to his "executive order 6102", which had been signed just three months earlier by the king, er, President. That order was the one that made every citizen in the country a criminal if they didn't turn in their gold by May 1st of the same year.

Oh, I forgot to mention, these laws and executive orders were preceded by, yep you guessed it, a Presidential Proclamation. "Proclamation 2039" to be exact. (It does sound a bit like what a king might do, but it's not like what the Wizard of Oz did when he gave out hearts, brains, and courage. But I digress.)

What all this meant was that the government took away all your gold coins and bullion. (Silver was included too. We'll leave that for a future story.) But not to worry, these nice men were allowing you to keep grandpa's gold watch and mom's wedding band. And what's the big deal? They will pay you $20.67 per ounce for it; it's not like they are stealing it from you.

So you get the paper, the government gets the gold (and the power to make the paper worth anything, or nothing, it wants) and all is right with the world. Surely this will fix the depression, so it's worth the minor inconvenience.

Before I forget, it should be mentioned that just a short time after they took all the gold they could get their hands on, they arbitrarily raised the price of gold to $35 an ounce. It was a stroke of genius for the Federal Reserve who was able to realize a 69 percent increase in the value of what they had just stolen, er, bought. It wasn't such a good deal for the home folks though because it made the value of their currency worth 40% less.

Another way to devalue the money would be to print it like crazy, but don't worry, they would never do that. After all, ever since the Fed began defending the value of the dollar it has lost 95% of its value, and who can argue with a track record like that?

To celebrate the day, stop down at the Yellow Rock Saloon and have a shot of Goldschlager schnapps. But just because it's about 40% alcohol don't assume you broke even on the deal.

5/25/13

Late Night Talkers Take Aim at Obama and Other Statists


The following collection of jokes is republished with the permission of International Liberty. There are some really funny (or sad, if you choose) jokes about the President. There are also a few about other people who don't know anything about the current tri-fecta of scandals.

May 25, 2013 by Dan Mitchell

I’ve been sharing one-liners from the late-night talk shows for a long time, mostly because I enjoy mocking politicians (and also because the folks at News-max are very good at compiling them).

So I think I have at least a vague sense of where they are coming from. Well, ever since Jay Leno announced that he’s retiring, it sure seems like his jokes have veered in an anti-Obama direction.

Enjoy his latest, as well as contributions from others.

Jay Leno

Time magazine found a picture of President Obama at his high school prom back in 1979. Let me tell you how long ago that was. Back then, Obama had to ask a girl for her phone number. He couldn’t illegally obtain it through the Justice Department.

It is not looking good for President Obama. Today, his teleprompter took the Fifth. In fact, the White House has changed its slogan from “Yes, we can” to “No, I can’t remember.”

The latest scandal in Washington, of course, is raising questions about the IRS. You know, I have a question. Why is it called the Internal Revenue Service? How is having your money confiscated a service?

A Democratic congressman said that he worries that the IRS scandal might have a chilling effect on the IRS and that they might be afraid to audit people. So finally some good is coming out of all of this.

White House officials continue to insist that President Obama knew nothing about the IRS scandal until we all heard about it in the news last week. They said because there was an investigation under way, it would have been inappropriate to tell him. And besides, Obama was too busy not knowing anything about Benghazi.

Anthony Weiner has formally announced he is running for mayor of New York City. He posted a video announcing it just after midnight — and traditionally, being online in the middle of the night has always worked so well for Mr. Weiner.

President Obama gave the commencement address at Morehouse College over the weekend. Great speech, very inspiring. He told the young graduates their future is bright — unless, of course, they want jobs.

The White House admitted President Obama’s chief of staff had advance warning that the IRS was targeting conservative groups. President Obama says the first time he heard about the IRS and AP scandals was from the media. See, that’s why President Obama holds press conferences. It’s not to explain what’s going on. It’s to find out what’s going on.

These White House scandals are not going away any time soon. I’ll tell you how bad it’s looking for President Obama: People in Kenya are now saying he’s 100 percent American.

This week will mark the 37th time House Republicans have tried to repeal Obamacare. If Republicans really wanted to do away with Obamacare they should just endorse it as a conservative non-profit and let the IRS take it down.

President Obama announced the appointment of a new acting commissioner of the IRS — the other guy was fired. See, they’re called “acting commissioner” because you have to act like the scandal doesn’t involve the White House.

A lot of critics are now comparing President Obama to President Nixon. The good news for Obama? At least he’s no longer being compared to President Carter.

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate hearings. For those of you too young to remember, back then the administration had an enemies list. They were spying on reporters, and they used the IRS to harass groups they didn’t like. Thank God those days are gone forever.

A lot of critics are comparing President Obama to President Richard Nixon, which is unfair. Nixon’s unemployment rate was only 5 percent.

Today the White House unveiled its latest high-tech weapon: the IRS audit.

I love what IRS commissioner Steve Miller said today about this whole targeting conservative groups thing. He said, “Mistakes were made, but they were in no way made with a political or partisan motivation.” Yeah, “Mistakes were made” — try saying THAT during your next IRS audit.

David Letterman

I feel bad for Barack Obama. He’s got the Benghazi scandal, the IRS scandal, and the FBI wiretapping phones. The president is in so much trouble politically, he’s thinking about killing bin Laden again.

Have you folks been paying attention to what’s going on in Washington? In a matter of six weeks we have three big scandals, and it looks like President Obama and all his buddies in the White House may go to prison. Finally, some good news for the Romney campaign.

People always say this to me: “Hey, Letterman,” they say. “Why don’t you make jokes about Obama?” All right, I’ll tell you why. I don’t make jokes about him. Because I don’t want the FBI tapping my phone, that’s why.

Conan

A new international poll finds that the least popular country in the world is Iran. After hearing this, North Korea said, “What do we have to do?”

During a Senate hearing yesterday, Senator John McCain said it was too hard to always have to update apps on his iPhone. No one has the heart to tell him the device he was holding was a garage door opener.

President Obama is in a lot of hot water lately. Despite the scandals, 53 percent of Americans say they approve of the job he’s doing. The other 47 percent are being audited.

A new report just came out. It says someone close to the president knew about the IRS scandal and kept his mouth shut. In other words, we can rule out Joe Biden.

In a new interview, Joe Biden says he spends four or five hours every day with President Obama. In response, Obama said hiring that Obama impersonator was the best decision he’s ever made.

Since President Obama took office, the Democratic Party has lost nine governorships, 56 members of Congress, and two Senate seats. In his defense, Obama said, “Well, I did promise change.”

Jimmy Fallon

Time magazine just released a picture of a 17-year-old President Obama with his prom date. They would’ve published a picture of Joe Biden with his prom date, but his mom didn’t want to be photographed.

A woman in New Jersey just found her missing dog after she grilled pork in her backyard and he came home because of the smell. Unfortunately, he was immediately shoved out of the way by Governor Chris Christie.

Vice President Joe Biden met with two undocumented immigrants this week to promote the new immigration bill. When they learned they had to sit down with Biden, they went ahead and deported themselves.

These scandals at the White House are just getting worse. It turns out that President Obama’s chief of staff knew about the scandal at the IRS three weeks before the president found out. Obama was like, “Anything else you guys aren’t telling me?” And Joe Biden was like, “Uh . . . I broke the copier.”

Eagles’ offensive lineman Evan Mathis posted a picture on Instagram that shows him relieving himself on an IRS building with a caption that says, “Audit this!” Or as the IRS said, “OK, see you tomorrow at noon.”

President Obama is not having a good week. With three scandals shaking the White House, they’re saying this is one of the worst weeks of Obama’s presidency. Obama was like, “How could things get worse?” And Joe Biden was like, “You rang?”

It was just revealed that the Department of Justice secretly recorded the phone calls of AP journalists for two months. Obama promised reporters that the incident will be immediately investigated — by the Department of Justice.

Craig Feruson

The IRS has a new boss after it came out they unfairly targeted tea party groups. The president says the new IRS chief is not only good with numbers, but he has more integrity than the last guy. The new guy is Bernie Madoff.

5/23/13

Some Honesty About Race in America

The following article was written by Dr. Walter E Williams, professor of Economics at George Mason University. In the past Dr. Williams' work has often been featured here.

Readers of this blog are used to plain talk about sensitive subject matter and I know of no one better at addressing things in that manner than Williams.

It's a good thing Dr. Williams is black or he would called a racist for addressing this subject in such a straightforward manner. I'm white, so I risk be called a racist for republishing his essay. Oh well.

Many thanks to Dr. Williams for the express written permission to republish his essay here.


Honest Examination of Race

Dr. Walter E Williams
One definition given for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; it might also be a definition of stupidity. Let's look at some cities where large percentages of black Americans live under poor conditions.

Experiencing a violent crime rate of 2,137 per 100,000 of the population, Detroit is the nation's most dangerous city. Rounding out Forbes magazine's 2012 list of the 10 most dangerous cities are St Louis; Oakland, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta; Baltimore; Stockton, Calif.; Cleveland; and Buffalo, N.Y.

The most common characteristic of these predominantly black cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some cities -- such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia -- haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What's more is that in most of these cities, blacks have been mayors, chiefs of police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.

You might ask, "What's the point, Williams?" Let's be clear about it. I'm not stating that there's a causal relationship between crime, poverty and squalor on the one hand and, on the other, Democratic and black political control over a city. Nor am I saying that blacks ought to vote Republican.

What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to improve the lives of the poorest black people, he wants to leave off his to-do list election of Democrats and black politicians. Also to be left off the to-do list is a civil rights agenda. Racial discrimination has little to do with major problems confronting black people.

Today 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. Being born and finding out that your mother is 17 years old, that your grandmother is 35 and that you don't know who or where your father is is not a good start on life. In fact, it's a near guarantee for school dropout, poverty and crime, but such a start in life has nothing to do with racial discrimination.

Law-abiding poor black people suffer the nation's highest rates of criminal victimization from assaults and homicide. More than 50 percent of homicide victims are black. Would anyone claim that this victimization is caused by racist groups preying on the black community? In addition to victimization, the level of lawlessness in many black communities has the full effect of a law banning economic growth. That's because the thugs are equal-opportunity thugs who will rip off a black-owned business just as they'd rip off a white-owned business.

Black education is a disaster, but who runs the violent, disruptive big-city schools, where education is all but impossible? For the most part, it's not white people. Go to a city such as Detroit and you'll find that blacks have been superintendents, principals and most of the teachers for years. Most black high-school students, in Detroit and other cities, can't read, write and compute as well as sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade white students, but is it because of racism?

What the elite teach is not only futile but counterproductive. For example, speaking standard English in an English-speaking country is critical for self-improvement. But that's not the lesson from the nation's multiculturalists, who call for the celebration of native languages and dialects. Sloppy-minded academics and assorted hustlers have taught that poor English, gangsta rap, men wearing pigtails and thug behavior should not be criticized but become a part of the celebration of diversity.

Black people could benefit from an honest examination of the bill of goods they've been sold. Such an examination would not come from black politicians, civil rights leaders or the black and white liberal elite. Those people have benefited politically and financially from keeping black Americans in a constant state of grievance based on alleged racial discrimination.

The long-term solution for the problems that many black Americans face begins with an absolute rejection of the self-serving agenda of hustlers and poverty pimps.

The original of this essay can be found here. Dr. Williams website can be found here.

5/21/13

Yes, It's Another Commentary About Rand Paul

I'd be delighted to showcase a video featuring another leader talking common sense to the American people. The problem is, I don't see anyone else doing that.

In this video, he takes his turn on the Government Affairs Subcommittee today and turns out to be the only one to call the whole dog and pony show for what it is.

This is a leader saying what needs to be said, and as usual, he stands alone. I'd be happy to showcase someone else if any reader wants to send me a link to a video of someone else taking the lead in the fight to bring sanity back to our government.

In the mean time, Apple did nothing wrong. And thank goodness someone stood up for them.

"My opening comments defending Apple and condemning Congress in today's absurd show trial. Apple deserves a medal, not an inquiry." - Rand Paul


5/15/13

Is America Ready to Dump the Old Left/Right Paradigm? Maybe

By Grant Davies

If you have even the slightest notion that you have been manipulated by the political system and its operatives at any time in your life, you have.

Do you ever find yourself reflexively opposing some idea or proposal because it is a Republican initiative? Or because it is a Democratic initiative?

Have you ever talked to anyone who was a Republican because they opposed Democrats? Or a Democrat because they opposed Republicans? Or who voted one way or the other because they were Irish, or Jewish, or black, or white, or their parents always voted that way? Or who liked or hated Obama or Bush because it was the default position of the crowd they hang around with?

Have you ever noticed that you are sick of talking heads on Fox News or MSNBC telling you what to think? Or that the talk radio shows you listen to are only an echo chamber for what you already knew?

Maybe it's time to seek out someone you know who is on the opposite side of the political spectrum from you and chat about what you agree upon. Maybe you will find someone who is as sick as you are of the old left/right paradigm.

Maybe it's time to look for something different. Maybe it's time for someone to step forward and cut through the BS. Maybe it's time for someone who sees what we agree upon and builds upon it instead of pitting us against each other.

Maybe it's time to consider Rand Paul's ideas. Maybe they were your own ideas all along. Maybe your friends are thinking the same thing. Maybe...



5/10/13

Is Political Correctness a Weapon in the War on Freedom?

By Grant Davies

You may have heard this story recently. It's been floating around the net, but of course it hasn't been covered by the mainstream media. At least I haven't seen it. To be fair, I don't watch very much of the mostly useless drivel they peddle as "news"on those networks, so feel free to correct me if you saw it on one of them.

Since the theme of this blog is freedom and individual rights, it only seems right to bring this to your attention. When someone's rights are violated they lose some of their freedom. It doesn't matter which thugs are doing the violating.

It could be common street thugs who steal the liberty of inner city teenagers by attempting to force them into joining a gang. Losing the right to walk the streets freely unless you comply is no small loss.

It could be union thugs who use their partnership with government thugs to force people into joining their gang. Losing the right to work for whom you choose at a mutually agreed upon wage is no small loss.

Or it could be the thugs in government (at all levels) who steal individual liberty in ways too numerous to count. All the small losses add up to a mostly un-free existence.

In the case below it is university administrators who use political correctness to squash individual liberty. Those in charge at Syracuse University tried their best to destroy the career path and aspirations of the young man below by labeling him as a racist (and other vile things). He dared to make a personal post on his Facebook page questioning the opinion of someone who held that he was somehow unqualified to teach non-white students because he wasn't from a traditionally black college.

His right to work as a teacher may be over because of it. He seems to have "won" round one (or two, depending upon what you count) by exposing the thugs. But it remains to be seen if he will be blacklisted for not being black.

If he is, it will be no small loss for any of us.



Comments are welcome.

5/2/13

Welfare for Terrorists

By Grant Davies

About a week ago I threatened to write about two different things that were pissing me off. I said I would do so in a day or so. But it's not my fault that I didn't deliver, it's yours. That's right, it's yours.

As my old friend "JO" used to say, "You screwed up, you trusted me." (Okay, he didn't say screwed, he used a different word, but then again he's not like me, a famous writer who has a reputation to protect.)

Truth be told, I was too busy to be both pissed off and also write about it. So here I am, a week later, and guess what? I'm still pissed off about those things, so here goes.

The first item was a slam dunk for any thinking person to be indignant about. It was the news that one of the Boston bombers was collecting welfare transfer payments from the government while he was plotting to kill and maim innocent people at a public event. That's bad enough because this imbecile and his nitwit brother were killers, but odd as it seems, that wasn't the worst part.

Heck, a huge number of the criminals in this country are getting some form of government transfer payment.  I'd say (without actually knowing) that the vast majority of gang-bangers in any larger city are getting some "free" money while they go about their business of killing, robbing, dope dealing, and impregnating multiple women. And that's just one criminal class. So, it's nothing novel, that's for certain.

The problem is that he was getting any government money at all. Not because he was a murderous scum bag, but because he isn't a citizen of this country. He's here as a guest. He came here voluntarily. We allowed him to talk us into letting him into this country. And it's a fair bet that if it turns out that there are more people involved in the Boston Marathon murders they will be getting some form of government handout as well.

We don't owe the rest of the people in the world a check just because they breathe. If we did, we could save ourselves a lot of trouble by just sending them a check where ever they live. They could stay home and save the transportation costs and it would have the added benefit for us that it's hard to throw a pressure cooker bomb across the ocean.

Most people just know instinctively that when you allow someone to come into the country as a guest, they are expected to provide themselves with their own food and pay for their own lodging and clothing. Or perhaps they have a sponsor to provide it for them. If they run out of any of those things, or their sponsor no longer is able or willing to provide them, it's time to go home. Simple, right? Apparently nothing is simple in an upside down Utopia like the current USA.

Therefore I propose a new law. It's something I seldom, if ever, do. The law would be simple. "No person residing in, or visiting the US, shall be the beneficiary of any government program or payment of any kind unless they are a citizen."

So there is my rant about the first issue. I'll write about the second one soon. But if I don't, just remember, it's your fault for trusting me.

4/25/13

Okay, I'm Pissed Off Again

By Grant Davies

The other day a reader asked me if I was still writing for this blog. It was a fair question since I hadn't posted (much less personally written) anything here for twenty-two days. In fact, there has only been one post here in the month of April and only four in March. In the "blogosphere" that's forever. Over the last few years I've learned a few things about blogging. One of them is that you start to lose readers when you don't post regularly.

But I have some good news on that score. Since the regular readership of this blog falls a tad short of  the hits that The Drudge Report gets, there aren't that many to lose. And truth be told, almost all of the regular readers here know that I have continued to write (albeit somewhat less often) for my other blog, Cheeky History. So everyone knew I didn't croak and start writing opinion pieces in heaven about how God ought to run things differently up there.

Anyway, I apologize to those few (if any) who have missed the posts here. I'm also sure there are some people whose hope that I had stopped pontificating online are now dashed, but oh well.

Candidly, most of the time I write on this site when something that's happening pisses me off. And while there are still plenty of things happening that piss me off, I just got tired of being pissed. It's bad for your health and your attitude. All things considered, I'm happier when I'm not pissed, and I want to be happy as much as possible in this unhappy world. But in the last day or so, my "pissed off meter" went into the red zone again when I read about two items.

The first was when I discovered that the evil imbecile who decided to enlist his equally evil kid brother in a scheme to kill people at the Boston Marathon was on welfare.

The second was this morning when I read that the somewhat less evil imbeciles in the US Congress are secretly working behind the scenes to come up with a "Bi-partisan" agreement on how to exempt themselves and their employees from the Obamacare nightmare that is descending on the rest of us.

There is much to be said about both items but this post is starting to to violate my "KISS" (keep it short, stupid) rule, so I promise to work on these two "pissers" tonight. If I can put two readable essays together soon I'll publish them tomorrow or the next day so you can give them all the attention they don't deserve.